The 2018 F1 season in 21 headlines 

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen crash into each other
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen crash into each other
rehaan díaz

The 2018 Formula 1 season was eventful on a lot of fronts. 5 drivers took wins, the lead changed hands multiple times, the transfer market went crazy, top 3 teams got genuinely close by the end of the year, the midfield was tighter than ever. Plenty of crashes and a whole lot of heart burns were accompanied by stellar drives and amazing comebacks.

Here's a quick look back at the 21 races of the season:

1. Australia: Ferrari draw first blood, despite Mercedes in party mode

Lewis Hamilton pulled off a stellar pole lap that happened courtesy of 'party mode' of the Mercedes engine. On race day, however, Ferrari sneaked a win as Mercedes miscalculated the Virtual Safety Car period.

2. Bahrain: Desert heat makes the Silver Arrows sweat

Vettel showed blinding pace and had a perfect score of 50 after 2 races. Ferrari made a statement of intent with a thoroughly dominating performance in the night heat amidst the sand dunes of Bahrain, setting up a proper fight for 2018.

3. China: Lick the stamp and send it

Red Bull were braver in their strategic calls, pitting for fresh tires at the safety car on lap 30 after the Toro Rossos collided. Ricciardo pulled off a brave attempt, overtaking manoeuvres to seal a memorable win and a quote for the ages.

4. Baku: Raging bulls and the luckless Finn

Valtteri Bottas's cruel luck started in Azerbaijan and for the whole season he continued to be a victim of circumstances. The Red Bulls meanwhile self-destructed with a double DNF to hand an unexpected win to Hamilton.

5. Spain: Lewis and Mercedes find their mojo

Hamilton took a pole-to-flag win, having been a long way ahead of anyone during the entire race, and leading home the first 1-2 of the season for Mercedes and extending his driver's championship lead to 17 points.

6. Monaco: Sweet redemption for the Honey Badger

After being robbed of a win in 2016, redemption came to Daniel Ricciardo. It was not as easy though, as after starting from pole he lost the MGU-K power. Yet he nursed the wounded, under-powered car for 60 laps to take a brilliant victory.

7. Canada: Ferrari punches back with a Montreal win after 14 years

While it was an uneventful race, Ferrari's credentials got further boost and Sebastian Vettel led Lewis Hamilton 121-120 in the championship after trailing for a few rounds.

Vettel in agony after crashing out of the lead in Germany
Vettel in agony after crashing out of the lead in Germany

8. France: New track, same story

Formula 1 returned to France after being off the calendar since 2008 when Felipe Massa won for Ferrari. The track at Paul Ricard served as another track where Hamilton took pole and bossed his way to another win.

9. Austria: Max unleashes the bull at home track

Max Verstappen won his first race of 2018 leading a Ferrari 2-3. This gave Red Bull their first (home) win at the Red Bull Ring, as Mercedes had already bungled during the VSC with Hamilton having their first double DNF.

10. Britain: Vettel steals homeboy’s thunder

Silverstone saw Hamilton have a bad start from pole and tangling with Raikkonen as rival Vettel took a controlled win. The two safety car periods helped Hamilton claw back to second while Raikkonen took the last spot on the podium.

11. Germany: ….and the title is lying in the gravel

Hamilton won from 14th on the grid, but that was not looking possible when Vettel was leading comfortably. Then it rained and the Ferrari driver went into the gravel and the barriers to literally beach his title chances.

12. Hungary: Another setback to Ferrari after Marchionne

Ferrari crew wore black armbands in honour of Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who passed away 4 days ago. With Hamilton winning again from pole, the Italian team couldn't get the win that they wanted for the late man.

13. Belgium: Vettel blasts past the Radillon and Hamilton

This round at Spa gave the impression that Ferrari was finally up for it with Vettel passing Hamilton as he was standing still. The race also saw Force India come out of administration and grab a fabulous 5-6 finish.

14. Italy: Lewis breaks tifosi hearts. Again.

While Raikkonen set the fastest ever lap in F1 history in qualifying to take pole, Hamilton found a way to pass him on track after a titanic but fair tussle, thus pouring water over the expectation of a Ferrari win at Monza.

Alonso and Hamilton embrace after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Alonso and Hamilton embrace after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

15. Singapore: Lightning Lewis lap leaves rivals gasping

Ferrari came in expecting to win at the Mercedes bogey circuit, but was stunned by an all-time track record at the Marina Bay Circuit by Lewis Hamilton. With this win, he deflated Ferrari even more than the Monza weekend.

16. Russia: Valtteri. This is Toto.

The most notable moment of the race came on lap 26, when Mercedes boss Toto Wolff asked Valtteri Bottas to let Lewis Hamilton through, thus helping him win and extend his championship lead.

17. Japan: Mercedes out of reach in Far-East

Mercedes and Ferrari were split by Red Bulls at Suzuka. A Mercedes 1-2, Red Bull 3-4 and Ferrari 5-6 signalled the late season resurgence of Red Bull and the beginning of Max Verstappen's 5-podium run.

18. USA: A win finally! 113 races later.

Voted as the most popular race of the season, Kimi Raikkonen grabbed his only win of his second stint as a Ferrari driver after an excruciatingly long wait of 113 races. He did it from third on the grid and fending off Max and Lewis for a memorable win.

19. México: Max wins the race, Hamilton the title

Despite losing out of his last chance to be the sport's youngest pole sitter, the Red Bull of Max dominated the thin air of México to get his second victory of the year. Lewis Hamilton became a 5-time champion with a fourth-place finish.

20. Brazil: All hail the champion

This was first time in his career that Lewis Hamilton took a win after sewing up a world championship as he dominated the turns and elevations of Interlagos, where he also won his first title 10 years ago.

21. Abu Dhabi: Gracias Fernando

Having already won the 24 hour LeMans earlier in 2018 with Toyota, Fernando Alonso announced that he will not be competing in F1 next year. The season came to a close with a flurry of dedications and messages of gratitude for the double world champion.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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